If you are in the state of California, as a tourist, for work or simply as a resident of the state, you would like to drive around to live comfortably. To enjoy the freedom to move about in the state, you should know about the laws of the state and make sure you do not inadvertently end up violating a legal provision and suffer penalties/jail terms/both and more. If you are planning to travel on a two-wheeler/car in California then it would help to know the rules.
We will today acquaint with the DUI provisions in the State of California. Once you know these well,you need not worry about getting booked after a celebratory drink at a friend’s place or a beer post work on your way back home.
What is DUI?
DUI is nothing but what is more commonly known as drunk driving. A DUI offender may find himself in jail, really. Your family and friends may have to seek help from sites like PrisonFinder which are a useful guide to find out inmates and prisons details in California. The best way to avoid this is to be well informed about the law.
1. BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration)
The misconception to watch out for is that your BAC level will be at a level safe enough to drive if you consume only one standard drink per hour. The BAC in California is 0.01% for drivers under 21 years of age or for individuals under probation for previous DUI. It would help to know that a beer at breakfast could raise your BAC to 0.01%.
2. What can DUI offenders expect?
DUI offenders face both administrative and criminal penalties. Generally, such arrests are treated as misdemeanor DUI unless there is an injury to someone. If you end up injuring someone or you have been caught for DUI in the past, you may be charged for a felony. The action is taken by the California DMV as well as a trial in California court.
The California DMV has the right to suspend the culprit’s license. The suspension is automatic. The defendant can request for non-suspension. The request for a hearing must be made within 10 days of being arrested.
A court can order a suspension of the defendant’s license irrespective of the DMV hearing result. A court can also sentence the defendant to criminal penalties such as fines, jail, and/or probation.
3. When are you at the risk of getting arrested?
California DUI penalties and punishments depend on your past DUI record and on whether anyone was injured during the incident.
You may expect driving under the influence arrest and be filed for a felony if there have been 4 or more DUI breaches in the past or someone is injured. Else the arrest would be for a misdemeanor.
4. Administrative Penalties
The Department of Motor Vehicles can impose penalties even if a person is not convicted of DUI.
These include the issue of a 30-day temporary license. If you are held guilty for any criminal charges at the court hearing, the judge may impose any restriction, revocation, or restoration of driving privileges.
5. Does very DUI offender get the same treatment?
Of course not. Depending on your age, past record and whether any damage or injury was caused, the penalty and punishment are likely to vary. For instance, the first DUI could result in a license suspension for 6 months, while a felony injury DUI could mean suspension for up to 5 years.
6. How to deal with DUI penalties?
If handled well, you can manage your DUI penalties and avoid or at least reduce these. Majority of DUI consequences can either be diluted if you get charged for a lesser offense than DUI. Quickly seeking the help of a good lawyer can help you contest the license suspension. A good lawyer can help you manage the penalties in the best possible manner for your case.
7. Common Mistakes in DUI investigation
Just as it is necessary to know the rules, it is good to know the mistakes that the police are likely to make during a DUI case. This helps you know whether you are really guilty, to what extent and fight your case better. Some common mistakes that police make may be –
• Waiting for less than 15 minutes for Breath Test
• Not taking 2 breath samples
• Not getting a warrant before a forced blood draw
• Not keeping track of important events, etc.
However, you must keep in mind that the DUI rules in California are definitely designed to ensure that the roads are a safe place for motorists and pedestrians alike. Abiding by the rules and hiring a cab when you have had a drink is definitely a better bet for all! Happy driving!